- Posted July 5, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel snapshots: Otherworldly landscapes
Taiwan Traditional and Iconic Foods
Taiwan is known around the world for its incredible eats - be it street food or fine dining. Here is a look at some of the more iconic or legendary foods in Taiwan.
1. Xiao Long Bao from Din Tai Fung. One of Taiwan's most famous restaurants - these dumplings are filled with hot soup and are unlike any other I have tried. There are over 40 locations around the world (including one in the US), but none really compare to the original one in Taiwan.
2. Shanghai Fried Pork Buns from Kao Chi. Located just around the corner from Din Tai Fung, Kao Chi is another historic Taiwan restaurant. These fried pork buns are one of the most popular items available.
3. Stinky Tofu - known as the national snack food of Taiwan, this very stinky snack food is found in every food mall or night market area in the country. If you do not think it's that bad, even Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods host) met his match with Taiwan's stinky tofu.
4. Mango Shaved Ice. In the same Yong Kang Street food area of Taipei, Ice Monster was known for the legendary mango shaved ice. People would line up down the street for this delicious treat. Unfortunately, Ice Monster closed its doors in January due to divorce/alimony issues, but a new place has just opened up with Ice Monster's owner serving as the technical advisor. The ice is just as good, but the portion is smaller at the new Yong Kang 15.
5. Chinese Tea Eggs - these tea-flavored hard-boiled eggs are found everywhere from 7-11 to night markets. This picture was taken from the Sun Moon Lake area which has tea eggs flavored with large mushrooms, making them some of the best on the island.
6. Peanut Cilantro Ice Cream. This is an iconic food found at night markets. It is shaved peanut brittle with peanut, taro, and pineapple ice cream scoops and cilantro, all wrapped in a thin pancake and eaten like a burrito.
7. Danzai noodles - this is another legendary food from Taipei and is part of the city of Tainan's history. The original pot used to make these noodles is on display in a museum. The restaurant is still family owned and they have opened two branches in Taipei. The minced pork on these noodles are really what make the dish. The main Taipei branch is located on Yong Kang, right with Din Tai Fung, Kao Chi, and the shaved ice store.
8. Oyster Omelet is another night market food that is very popular in Taiwan. Stall after stall in large night markets like Shilin in Taipei specialize in this dish.
9. Candied fruits and tomatoes are found in every night market. The candied cherry tomatoes are surprisingly good.
10. Jongzi dumplings. These are traditionally eaten on the important Dragon Boat Festival holiday that just passed in mid-June. There is quite a history behind this popular glutinous rice dumpling that is now found year round in Taiwan.